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Advocates push to pass the CROWN Act in Pennsylvania, US Congress

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(WHTM)– Strands rooted in history is something hairstylist Andrea Fulton knows well.

“It’s beautifully coiled, curly, curly hair from straight hair to curly hair,” Fulton said.

Cornrows, afros, and locs are just some of the versatility.

“I had to have my hair, like, really straight, you know, and in a specific style, especially like if you’re thinking about like business meetings,” client Karen McKee said.

McKee decided to use a natural protective hairstyle which is not always embraced.

“It’s it’s unfortunate that someone has an opinion of what is beautiful and what isn’t beautiful,” Fulton said.

A costly opinion.

“It is unfortunately still legal not to give someone a job opportunity, not hire them, based off of their hairstyle and that is unconscionable in this day and age we know all discrimination is wrong,” PA House Speaker Joanna McClinton said.

McClinton, who was a Crown Act co-sponsor, says the act passed the House and now it’s in the Senate.

“Hair discrimination is part of a legacy of historic racism and discrimination that’s been part of our society,” McClinton said.

Several states have passed similar legislation prohibiting discrimination based on hair.

“We see it all the time where young people are denied the opportunity to go to the prom or denied an opportunity to work in a certain industry,” Congressman Troy Carter Sr. (D-LA) said.

Louisiana Congressman and Crown Act supporter Carter Sr. says while a national bill passed in the previous congress, it didn’t get far in the Senate and will be reintroduced this year.

“Recognizing that more and more people hopefully are beginning to realize that this is not a partisan issue,” Carter said.

Not having legislation such as the CROWN Act remains a personal issue to millions, especially the black community.

“I think there are people, they don’t understand our culture,” CROWN Act supporter Maria James-Thiaw said. “It becomes a way to keep certain groups out of certain rooms, boardrooms.”

Fulton hopes the CROWN Act will become law across the nation.

“Because we have to think about our young growing up thinking that something’s wrong with their hair,” Fulton said. “Somebody told them, you have bad hair we want them to understand how beautiful the natural coils are.”



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